Monday, November 15, 2010

Toronto Here We Come!

Yeaahhh!!!! The Rapids did what they needed to do on Saturday night. they went out, controlled enough of the game, and nicked a goal to claim the Eastern Conference Championship. It was touch and go for a while but in the end the best team won and set off a celebration at the Dick that we've never seen before.

San Jose controlled the game early, creating a couple of dangerous situations in the first 20 minutes. Slowly Colorado pushed back, forcing Jon Busch into a number of saves. 5 minutes before the half the Rapids broke through. Kimura corralled a ball in the corner of the San Jose end and pushed back down the field to open up a cross. Half turned away from the net on the sideline he flicked a cross in for an on-rushing Omar Cummings. Earthquakes keeper Jon Busch moved to cover the shot from Cummings. Only problem is that Cummings never made contact. With everybody on the field expecting a near post shot from Omar the ball bounced in the box and went just inside the far post for Koz's first goal of the season.

The Rapids took control of the game in the second half with multiple great chances. Cummings played a ball to a charging Mastroeni that Busch barely tipped wide. 2 minutes later Cummings should have put the game away. Breaking free 1-on-1 with Busch he got around him, but trying to put the ball high enough to not be headed by the Quakes defender he hit the crossbar. After that Drew Moor beat Busch on a header off a corner kick but Geovanni headed it off the line. finally after killing a number of desperation chances by San Jose the final whistle was blown and the Rapids were off to MLS Cup.

My key to the game was keeping the keeping the ball away from the Earthquakes outside players, Wondolowski and Convey. Both were essentially non-factors in this game, well done.

Other Observations:
  • Not only did the Rapids claim a spot in MLS Cup but they also claimed a spot in next year's CONCACAF Champion's League. If we win MLS Cup we'll go straight into the group stage, which is a home and away series against 3 other teams in our group. If we lose MLS Cup we'll have to go through a home-and-home qualifying round against another team to make MLS Cup.
  • Wells Thompson started in place of Jamie Smith, who had his hamstring tighten up in pre-game. For being a last minute starter Thompson got the job done.
  • Conor Casey could not buy a foul all night. Curse of the big man, if both players fall down it must be the big man's fault.
  • Drew Moor had an awesome game. He's played every minute of every game for us this year, I'm amazed that he's still going so strong.
  • Pickens had a somewhat easy night, only facing one shot on goal.
  • Pablo had his shooting boots on, having a couple of looks at goal. How good must it feel to him to finally make MLS Cup after 13 years?
  • the Rapids found out today that they'll be wearing the primary burgundy jerseys in MLS Cup.
  • Great to see the team celebrate with the fans by taking a trip around the stadium with the trophy.
  • The Dick was rocking on Saturday, best crowd I've ever seen.
  • Next up, Dallas who we've faced 4 times in the playoffs and beaten 4 times. Let's make it 5 for 5!
  • MLS Cup coverage starts at 6:30pm MST on Sunday.
Player of the Game: Kosuke Kimura. Not only did he have the conference winning goal but he was a beast on offense and defense all night. I really hope we can figure out a way to protect him in the expansion draft.

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